Jablonski, Marek (Michael)

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Jennings, Anthony

(b Wellington, 6 Feb 1945; d Sydney, 30 July 1995). New Zealand harpsichordist, organist, choral and orchestral director. A brilliant student, he took the BMus at Victoria University, Wellington, in 1968. Following postgraduate study in Brussels (1972), he was awarded the Kingdom of Belgium Pro Arte Gold Medal. In 1973 he took a postgraduate diploma at the GSM, London. During these years he was choirmaster at the Pro-Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Brussels, and assistant organist at St Alban’s Cathedral, England. These laid the foundations for his appointment as director of music at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Auckland (1974–85). Under his directorship the cathedral choir flourished and made several recordings. He held a senior lectureship at the University of Auckland from 1974 to 1991 and moved to the faculty of music at Newcastle University, Australia, in 1992. At the time of his death he had been appointed director of music at St James’s Church, Sydney.

His musical skills were wide-ranging and supported by a charismatic personality. A virtuoso organist, his performances of Romantic and contemporary repertory are remembered for their technical brilliance and musical power, but his special contribution was in the area of Baroque performance. As a teacher and performer he championed the cause of authenticity, introducing fine examples of French-, Italian-, Flemish- and German-style harpsichords to New Zealand and designing a replica of a 17th-century Dutch organ for the Maclaurin Chapel at Auckland University. His harpsichord recordings, of Bach and other Baroque composers, demonstrate superb musicianship and his solid grounding in Baroque performing practice.

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